Contact Lenses May Alter Bacteria in Eye

Contact lenses may increase the risk of eye infections, according to a new study.

Researchers at NYU used high-precision genetic tests to determine that wearing contact lenses may alter the community of bacteria living in your eyes. People in the study who wore contact lenses had triple the proportion of certain bacteria species, on average, compared with people in the study who did not wear contact lenses. In people who wore contact lenses, the composition of the bacterial community on the surface of the eyes more closely resembled the bacteria on the individuals’ eyelids, as compared with people who do not wear lenses.

Senior study investigator and microbiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, PhD said in a statement,

Our research clearly shows that putting a foreign object, such as a contact lens, on the eye is not a neutral act. What we hope our future experiments will show is whether these changes in the eye microbiome of lens wearers are due to fingers touching the eye, or from the lens’s direct pressure affecting and altering the immune system in the eye and what bacteria are suppressed or are allowed to thrive.”

Dr. Mark Fromer, ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, reminds consumers that millions of people wear contact lenses and most do not experience complications related to wearing the lenses. However, when such complications do occur, they can often be quite serious, Fromer told Live Science.

He advises all contact-lens wearers to take simple steps to prevent potential complications:

Wash your hands, change your lens solution every day, keep your lens case clean.”

People using daily lenses, which need to be changed every day, should not keep wearing the same lenses for several weeks, he said. If lenses feel uncomfortable, wearers should take them out and consult their ophthalmologists.

Read more here-“Contact lenses may increase risk of eye infections by transferring bugs from skin to the eye,” (Ollie Gillman, DailyMail)

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Mackenzie is a Marketing Fellow and a rising junior at Villanova University. She is planning to co-major in Marketing and Finance and minor in Business Entrepreneurship. As a part of her studies, she has created and presented a comprehensive marketing plan to professionals from The Vanguard Group featuring Vanguard's exchange-traded funds.

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